Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
– Psalm 34:19
Some people reason that if God is for us, everything in life ought to go our way. Between the time of Moses and David, a man named Gideon thought this way.
Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.” Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” The Lord looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?”
– Judges 6:11-14
The Lord’s angel spent no time answering Gideon’s complaint. His assignment was to commission Gideon, and that he did.
The Bible explains that the reason life is not a picnic is the choice exercised by our first parents – and the choices exercised by all our parents since. This world is a place where humans have the freedom to choose; it is also a place where Satan has the freedom to tempt. Until every human learns to resist every temptation, therefore, this is going to be a world where things go wrong.
Jesus lived to demonstrate that everything does not have to go right for us to have a successful life here on earth. God has not promised that we won’t have “afflictions” in this life, but He has promised that He will “deliver” us “out of them all.” This is why we pray each day:
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil…
– Matthew 6:13
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, we know that this creation was once a garden, but, through the entrance of sin, it has become something dangerous and threatening. Lead me away from temptation today and deliver me from evil. I will worry about tomorrow’s evil tomorrow; please deliver me today…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)